More Than $400,000 Raised for Texas Democrats Who Fled State

More than $400,000 has been raised to help cover the expenses of a group of Texas Democrats who fled the state on Monday in order to deny the legislature the two-thirds quorum required to conduct business.

Powered By People, an organization that registers voters in Texas, has been raising funds for the Democratic lawmakers who left for Washington, D.C. in an effort to prevent the passage of new voting restrictions.

The Houston Chronicle's Jasper Scherer reported on Tuesday that the total was at $430,000, citing former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, the founder of Powered By People.

Scherer wrote on Twitter: "@poweredxpeoplehas now raised over $430K to help cover expenses for #txlege Dems who left the state for D.C., per @BetoORourke.

"What are the funds being spent on? 'Up to them to use it for whatever keeps them in the fight for as long as it takes,' O'Rourke says."

Speaking to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday, O'Rourke called for more donations and said Powered by People had raised around $450,000.

Powered By People shared Scherer's tweet on its Twitter account along with a link to the group's fundraiser at ActBlue, a nonprofit organization that facilitates fundraising for Democratic candidates and progressive groups.

You can help cover the expenses for @TexasHDC who broke quorum by donating here: https://t.co/W2e2n1PSga https://t.co/dPpL7PvVRt

— Powered By People (@poweredxpeople) July 14, 2021

On its website, Powered By People asks for support for the 50-plus Texas Democrats, who may face arrest when they return to the state.

"The Texas House Democrats are using their political power to stop voter suppression and lead on expanding voting rights," says Powered By People.

"They are taking the extraordinary step of leaving the state and are making their way to our nation's capital to ensure we can pass the For the People Act—the single greatest opportunity to protect the right to vote in America."

The proposed changes to voting laws in Texas would ban drive-thru and 24-hour voting and introduce new ID requirements for mail-in ballots, among other measures.

Vice President Kamala Harris met with the Texas Democrats on Tuesday. The legislators are advocating for the For the People Act, which would be a major piece of federal elections legislation. However, the Senate filibuster is a significant stumbling block.

"I know what you have done comes with great sacrifice, both personal and political," Harris told the lawmakers. "Defending the right of the American people to vote is as American as apple pie."

"I have in mind that person who was working two or three jobs and needs to have the ability to early vote," Harris said. "I'm thinking about that single parent who has his or her kids in the backseat and needs to be able to have a drive-thru or a drop box to vote. I'm thinking about the American with disability who needs to have the option of voting by mail."

Newsweek has asked Powered By People and the Texas Republican Party for comment.

Texas Democrats Speak in Washington, D.C.
A group of Texas House Democrats, led by Rep. Chris Turner (L) and Rep. Rafael Anchia (R), during a news conference on voting rights outside the U.S. Capitol on July 13. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke has been raising funds to support the lawmakers. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images